November RICS data shows that prices still falling despite stabilisation

House price falls were less widespread in November as the market experienced a modest recovery, according to the latest data from the RICS.

The RICS said a balance of 17% more surveyors in England and Wales saw price falls than price rises over the month, down from 24% in October. However, a pick up in new buyer registrations was not enough to match the amount of new homes put on the market, with the number of unsold properties on estate agents books reaching the highest level - an average of 73.2 properties - since December 2008.

The data, from the RICS monthly housing market survey, showed that 7% more surveyors reported an increase in new buyer enquiries than a decrease, the third consecutive monthly increase, the first time a wholly positive quarter of buyer growth has been reported since the spring of 2010.

In addition the number of sales per estate agent edged up marginally, with 15.4 sales compared with 15 in October. A balance of 14% more surveyors saw sales increase, up from 9%.

The positive signs were tempered by continuing general market weakness, with 89% saying the economy was holding back sales. More surveyors saw prices falling than rising in every single region bar London. Surveyors continue to expect prices to fall sharply in future, while the number of sales edge upwards.

RICS housing spokesperson, Alan Collett, said: “It is encouraging that buyer interest has edged upwards in the face of the endless diet of negative news from Europe and the turmoil in financial markets. However, a meaningful recovery still seems some way off.

“While the proposed mortgage indemnity scheme is clearly likely to provide some assistance for the market and is to be welcomed, its focus on the new build sector will inevitably mean that it only offers support for a relatively small share of the market.”